Friday, August 3, 2018

PSA

I just came across an email in my inbox with the subject line 10 Potato Recipes Everyone Should Know.   And frankly, this has me looking over my shoulder to see if someone is watching me,  if perhaps Alexa or Siri are listening in and tattling on me.  It's either a huge coincidence, or I'm being spied upon.  And I'm certain that it must be the latter.

Since I'm clearly being spied on anyway, let me share a confession with you, a bit of a PSA.  No, I don't mean Public Service Announcement... although perhaps that would apply as well.  I mean Potato Spoilage Advice.

In my kitchen, I have a drawer where I keep onions (red and yellow) and potatoes (sweet and Yukon Gold).  It's a cool, dark, dry place.  And it's convenient.  And it's never been a problem before, although I have recently read that you should keep your onions and potatoes separated, because the onions will make the potatoes sprout.  And while I often digress in my Teapot Musings... this time it's not a digression.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to throw some sliced red onions on the grill.  I opened my onion-potato drawer, and peered inside.  All seemed well.  I had 2 red onions, 1 sweet potato, and a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes.  The potatoes on the top of the bag were clearly firm, and without sprouts.  To better reach the red onions, I picked up the bag of potatoes, which is when my whole world exploded.

Hmmm, I guess that's a bit of an exaggeration.  But it is accurate to say that the potatoes that had been on the bottom exploded, and I found myself holding a dripping bag of potato soup... with a couple of Very Sneaky normal-looking potatoes sitting on the top to fool me into thinking all was well with the world.
 



And of course the smell. There had been no odor at all when I opened the drawer, with the exception of a very slight aroma from the red onions.  But now that the potatoes had exploded... everything reeked.



But I'm not just posting to tell you my sad story, I'm here to tell you how the reek issue was finally resolved.  I suppose that would make this a PSA PSA.

First, everything needs to be washed.  That's not going to take care of the odor... it doesn't even come close... but it's a critical first step.  In my case, this included the drawer, the drawer above it and its contents, as well as  the cabinet the drawer slid into.

Next, I wiped down both drawers and the cabinet with vinegar.  Then I sprinkled baking soda everywhere and let it sit overnight.  Then I cleaned up the baking soda -- which smelled, of course, but that was a good sign.  Gave the sniff taste, and wiped everything down again with vinegar.  And then baking soda.  And then vinegar. and then baking soda. 
And after the fourth or fifth time, I deemed the cabinet and the drawer above the potato drawer, to be usable once again.  It took another week, with many more rounds of vinegar and baking soda, but I have finally declared the potato drawer to be odor free, and have returned it to its place in the cabinet.

Which brings me back to the post with potato recipes, and the serious underlying message. If you have potatoes, you need to cook potatoes.  And since tea is my answer to everything, I've manage to locate a recipe for tea-infused potatoes.

Hmmm... sounds interesting.  I'll give it some thought as I drink another cup of tea.






Tuesday, June 5, 2018

..but I LIKE carrots!








Image result for carrots

I eat carrots.   I eat a LOT of carrots... I mean REALLY a LOT of carrots. Not the cooked ones, mind you.. but the raw ones. 









When I first started eating carrots, it was largely because I was trying to lose weight.  Carrots make a great snack.  They're crunchy... they have a slightly sweet flavor...and they have very few calories.  But over time, I realized that there were even more positive attributes to this orange vegetable.... they don't get smashed in the bottom of your lunch bag, they last a long time before they go bad, they're inexpensive... and most importantly, I really like the taste of carrots.  And if you buy the pre-washed baby carrots, they're really easy... you don't peel, you don't cut, you don't wash... you just open the bag and reach in.

My husband doesn't eat carrots - at least not raw carrots.  It's not so much that he doesn't like them, it's more that he prefers fruit - almost any fruit - to vegetables. 
But I digress... let's get back to carrots.

As I was saying... I eat a lot of carrots.  In a typical week, I probably go through two big bags of carrots. And as my items are moving along on the conveyor belt in the grocery store... I sometimes wonder what the cashier is thinking about my order.  ("Hmmm, two bags of carrots, a large jar of pickles, and a jar of yeast.  That's an odd recipe.")  But then I realize that the cashier probably doesn't care about my grocery order, and instead is thinking about the movie they're going to see that weekend, or whether they have to stop and fill up their gas tank before they go home.

Except that I just came across an article about grocery store customers in the UK and Australia.  Apparently, the self-serve kiosks are far more plentiful there than they are here.  At least in the grocery stores that I frequent, there are only a few self-serve registers ... and it always seems a bit silly as there is nearly always at least one employee hovering around to help out and keep an eye on things.

A recent study of self-checkout machines in Australia and Great Britain revealed that  -- according to the register receipts -- people are buying pounds and Pounds and POUNDS ..... of carrots!  In fact, people are buying more carrots than the stores have!!! 

Well obviously people aren't buying more carrots than the store has in stock.  But it turns out that they're buying expensive things like avocados, and berries, and exotic or out-of-season fruits and vegetables... and ringing them up as carrots. 

Frankly, it never occurred to me to do that -- although, as I said, there always seems to be an employee hovering about the self-serve registers.  And besides that, you wouldn't think it would really make that much of a difference in the whole scheme of things. 

But I guess it does. 

The report noted that this tactic resulted in a loss to British grocery stores to the tune of 1 million dollars per year.  My, that IS a lot of carrots.  And don't think that the British are taking this matter lying down.  Some fellow was charged with stealing almost $600 worth of groceries over a three month period of time, by ringing up expensive produce as "loose onions".  Clearly, he should have used "carrots"... one reason why he was caught was that the particular grocery store he was frequenting didn't even sell loose onions.

Just in case anyone out there has been taking note of my grocery store receipts, and they've noticed the larger-than-typical amount of carrots in my purchases... please know that I like carrots, I really do.  And when my receipt says carrots, you can be sure I bought carrots.

I also like tea.  And although my favorite tea (Typhoo) comes from the UK, I would NEVER ring up my tea, as carrots.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Perhaps it's best to ignore them

Charlottesville was horrible... truly horrible.  And there were more white supremacist rallies planned for this weekend, across the country.  Fortunately, most of them were cancelled.  Sadly, Boston has decided to allow the scheduled rally to go forward.. as well as the counterprotest rally.

People!  These Nazi/KKK/white supremacists events are rallies.  And the likelihood of them drawing people to their cause - people who aren't already on their side, are slim.  That likelihood gets slimmer if no one knows about the rally, and it stays just a rally.

The Charlottesville got a lot of media attention, including social media attention.  I'm sure David Duke was absolutely delighted to see his tweets plastered all over the national news.

Like you, I am outraged ... absolutely outraged ... at what these groups are doing.  I find it absolutely inconceivable that someone could align themselves with these groups.  But I have to acknowledge that --  if the Charlottesville counterprotesters had stayed home... I don't think we'd be seeing Duke's hateful words on our television screens.

No, I'm absolutely NOT blaming this on the counterprotesters... not at all.  But...
I think it's time to change strategies.

Remember when you were a child, and your sibling was annoying you... not with what they were doing, but with what they were saying?  And your mother would say "Just ignore them."  I'm not talking about the pushing and shoving and other potentially harmful action... I'm talking about things like repeating everything you said, or disputing everything you said, or saying things they knew would make you mad.  Free speech sorts of things.

And... if you could force yourself to quit responding...  pretty soon your sibling would get bored and move on.

Yes, it was a childish game... but these white supremacists are acting in a childish manner.

Perhaps... just maybe... if we ignored them... if we didn't show up at their rallies, we didn't counterprotest, we didn't put it on the news... maybe they'd get bored.

I'm not suggesting we turn a blind eye to their actions, I'm not suggesting we turn our backs on them, and I am not suggesting we let them do anything other than talk.

But while they're only talking, and until/unless they do more than talking.. perhaps it's best to ignore them.

Yes, I know it will be difficult.. but we can all take a lesson from Tina Fey and eat cake.
And drink tea.